Lionel Richie, who was first linked to the job in early September, announced the news in a video post on Twitter on Friday (September 29), revealing he was looking forward to finding America’s next big talent.
“I’m so excited and proud to announce that I will be one of the three judges on ABC’s American Idol,” he said. “I will be joined with (sic) the beautiful Miss Katy Perry and my hero, Mr. Lionel Richie, and my fellow Georgia boy, Ryan Seacrest.
“Can’t wait to see you guys, can’t wait to be a part of the show, and I’m so excited to see all the talent out there that America has… It’s gonna be an exciting year. I’m so honoured, and we’re gonna have some fun.”
Katy became the first big name to take a seat on the judging panel for the new season of the U.S. reality show back in May, with Lionel becoming a frontrunner for the second spot in June.
Ryan Seacrest confirmed his return as show host in July.
It’s good news for producers, as they had earlier tried to recruit original Idol winner Kelly Clarkson as a judge, but she had to turn it down after accepting a spot on rival show The Voice.
Lionel’s addition to the line-up has put a smile on Katy’s face too, as the Roar singer admitted in August the soul legend would be her dream pick.
Taking to Twitter to celebrate the news on Friday, she referenced her new co-judges’ songs as she wrote, “SO excited, I feel like DANCING ON THE CEILING. Time to KICK THE DUST UP ! @lukebryanonline @lionelrichie let’s do this @AmericanIdol thing”.
The original American Idol ran for 15 seasons until it was cancelled by Fox network executives last year (2016). It was subsequently picked up by ABC bosses and will return to TV in 2018.